Well as most would assume I have been having a really tough time this year and hence the absence from the blog. I have given it a lot of thought and have shared with a few close people why I am having a more difficult time this year than I did last year.
Last year everything was so fresh and did not seem real. I was walking around in a fog and going through the motions. Much like a chicken who has had its head separated from its body… the body keeps moving for a short period of time. This in addition to the outpouring of friends and family that were around day and night to help me. This year, it is REAL for me and I am faced with the reality of what this time of year will be for me for the rest of my life. There will be a huge void as I get out the Christmas decorations and every piece I pull out of the box will have Julie and a memory tied to it.
This was her time of year. She loved the cold weather and wearing sweaters. She loved decorations and lights. She loved the time spent with family. She loved the anticipation of the kids on Christmas eve and the excitement in their eyes as they bound down the stairs Christmas morning. I miss her.
I was having a particularly hard day yesterday as I stumbled through some things in my home office I had not seen before that just punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me. On top of that Irma (a long time friend of Julie’s from College) was holding her Christmas White Elephant party that we went to every year (except last year as she did not hold it… I don’t think anyone was up for it.). The party consists of all of Julie’s close friends from her childhood and college years that still live in the area. I delayed until the last minute to accept my invitation as I just could not see myself going without her. I did, and I got through it somehow.
After the party the kids headed to Clear Lake to spend the next couple of days with Nanna and Poppa as I have to work this week and Ebony is on Vacation for the holidays in Michigan. So I had a quiet house. I sat down and decided to watch a movie. As I scrolled through my selection on my AppleTV I came across what is probably my favorite movie and one I had not watched in a long time… The Shawshank Redemption.
I have watched this movie dozens of times and remember every scene (If you have not watched it you are missing out on a great) but one scene spoke to me in a brand new way and I had to rewind it and listen to the line one more time. It was a line by Ellis Boyd Redding, better known as “Red”, played amazingly by Morgan Freeman. Red was reflecting on the escape of his best friend Andy Durfresne who had spent 20 years in prison wrongly convicted of a double murder…
Sometimes it makes me sad, though. Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up, does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty when they are gone.
Substitute Julie’s name for Andy and the quote fits like a glove. Julie’s feathers were just to bright. God called her home so that she could influence and touch many lives vs. just the ones she could here on earth as a mortal. We all know that it is selfish on our part for wanting to keep her all to herself and we can “rejoice” in knowing that she is guiding and helping many in God’s kingdom at present. However, we who knew her here on earth can’t help but feel a huge void now that she is not with us in human form.
I felt a sense of peace come over me as I listened to that line for the second time and absorbed it all in. Believe what you will, but Julie guided me to watch this movie last night and made sure my ears were primed to hear this…. She was speaking to me.
I wish everyone a very safe, happy and HEALTHY Holiday and 2009. I will sign off with one more very poignant line from this movie…
Get busy living or get busy dying.
I hope all who read this choose the former. It’s what Julie desires of all of us.